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Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range

Kiso Ontake Mountain Range

Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
Pristine natural settings a wealth of history, mystic religious significance in the heart of Japan.

Key features

  • Post towns
  • Hiking
  • Historic sights
  • Pristine nature
  • Shinto religion

By public transportation

From Takayama3.5 - 4 hours
From Nagano/Matsumoto1.5 hours/40 minutes
From Nagoya1.5 hours

Surrounding attractions

Takayama45 min
Kamikochi1.5 hours
Matsumoto40 minutes

Kiso Ontake Mountain Range

Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
Pristine natural settings a wealth of history, mystic religious significance in the heart of Japan.

Key features

  • Post towns
  • Hiking
  • Historic sights
  • Pristine nature
  • Shinto religion
The Kiso Ontake mountain range runs through the very center of Japan. As such, the Nakasendo, one of the five main highways in the Edo period connecting Edo (ancient Tokyo) to Kyoto, passed through this area. This portion of the Nakasendo was called the Kiso-ji meaning Kiso Road in Japanese. The area flourished for its lumber industry and kiso lacquerware crafts. It was also the center of deep religious significance for the Ontake branch of the Shinto religion. The mountainous terrain made it difficult for urbanization to reach the area, and as a result, it has been preserved for visitors to see the same pristine natural scenery that has been here for thousands of years, get a sense of the prolific history that passed through here, and feel its profound religious importance.
Mt. Otake is the second-highest volcano in Japan with an elevation of 3,067m. The indigenous Shinto religion believes there are kami, or gods, in all aspects of nature, and because mountains are closest to the heavens, they are particularly sacred. The Ontake faith is dedicated to the worship of Mt. Ontake and numerous sites of religious significance can be found scattered throughout the mountain, such as waterfalls and shrines, that were once only accessible to Shinto priests. In addition to its religious significance, the area is known for its untouched natural beauty. Any season you visit the area, you are guaranteed stunning views of the landscape and scenery. There are numerous sites famous for their gorgeous cherry blossoms in spring, summer offers verdant and lush green vistas, autumn sees an intricate tapestry of brilliant colors weave its way across the mountains in color leaves, and winter welcomes a wonderland of white powdery snow.There are plenty of activities and experiences available throughout the seasons as well as numerous sites of historic importance. From canoeing to horseback riding, skiing to snowshoeing, ancient shrines to historic post towns, the Kiso Ontake Mountain Range is worth taking the time to see for yourself.

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  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range

Recommended Highlights from Snow Monkey Resorts

One of the few destinations in Japan offering a fusion of history, culture, and pristine nature.

One of the few destinations in Japan offering a fusion of history, culture, and pristine nature.

A key area along the ancient Nakasendo highway, the Kiso Road has been preserved and maintained in its original state for hundreds of years.

An area with numerous sites associated with the ancient Ontake faith

An area with numerous sites associated with the ancient Ontake faith

Mt. Ontake is not only rich in natural scenery, it has a deep religious significance that is evidenced by the many sites throughout the mountain dedicated to its worship.

Easily accessible from all the major cities in the area, it is the perfect tourism hub for visiting post towns and the Nakasendo Kiso Valley

Easily accessible from all the major cities in the area, it is the perfect tourism hub for visiting post towns and the Nakasendo Kiso Valley

The area is centrally located between Nagano/Matsumoto, Takayama, and Nagoya making it the perfect stop on the way to your next destination.

A hidden gem with a wealth of fun winter activities for your enjoyment.

A hidden gem with a wealth of fun winter activities for your enjoyment.

Of course you can ski and snowboard, but you can also snowshoe, ride snowmobiles, sled, and even go horseback riding.

News / Info

Direct shuttle to/from Takayama

Direct shuttle to/from Takayama

Public transportation between Takayama and Kiso-Fukushima does not offer a lot of viable options, but we do! Don't hesitate to take advantage of our shuttle service and make the most out of your time.

Private Snow Fun Tours from Takayama are available

Private Snow Fun Tours from Takayama are available

Tell us what kinds of activities you want to enjoy and let us do the planning. Enjoy both the outdoors and interesting cultural and historic activities.

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Ice Candle Festival

Ice Candle Festival

Held at a variety of locations throughout the Kiso Valley between the end of January and mid-February, the festival comes to the Hiyoshi-Myanokoshi area in early February where ice candles and snow monuments illuminate the area and provide fantastic scenery.

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Kaida Plateau Kamakura Snow Festival

Kaida Plateau Kamakura Snow Festival

Kamakura are snow huts, and at this festival you can try making your own! Also ride in a horse drawn sleigh, snow shoe, or ride in a snowmobile. At night enjoy the candle illuminations.

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Attractions in/around Kiso Ontake Mountain Range

Ontake Ropeway

Ontake Ropeway

Ride up to the 7th climbing station on Mt. Ontake in a 15-minute gondola ride with breathtaking views.

The Ontake Ropeway will take you from the ropeway station up to the 7th climbing station on Mt. Ontake. The area between the gondola stations was once a ski resort, but now you can enjoy amazing panoramic views and explore the nearby mountain paths.

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Lake Shizenko

Lake Shizenko

Naturally formed lake caused by a large earthquake

Once a beautiful valley deep within the mountains, this lake was formed naturally after a major earthquake in 1984 caused its river to dam up. Now you can navigate a canoe around the skeletal remains of the trees that once stood tall giving it an eerie appearance.

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Shirakawa Ice Pillars

Shirakawa Ice Pillars

Awe-inspiring pillars of ice standing as high as 50m and 250 m across

The water that runs down the face of the mountain freezes in winter to form these amazing gigantic icicles. They are illuminated at night.

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Kaida Plateau

Kaida Plateau

A wealth of activities available year-round in a beautiful location

Home to the Kiso horses, you can horseback ride here year-round or ride in a horse drawn sleigh in winter. Snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and sledding against the backdrop of majestic Mt. Ontake are also options.

Kiyotaki / Shintaki Falls

Kiyotaki / Shintaki Falls

Ancient waterfalls with deep religious significance

Used for purification rites since ancient times, these waterfalls were once used only by Shinto priests to purify themselves before making the pilgrimage to Mt. Ontake. Ablution ceremonies are still held here today.

Tsumago Post Town

Tsumago Post Town

A well-preserved historic post town on the Kiso Road

Number 42 of the 69 post towns along the Nakasendo Highway, some of the original buildings in use hundreds of years ago remain standing today telling of the area's rich history.

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Akasawa Natural Recreation Forest

Akasawa Natural Recreation Forest

Said to be one of Japan's three most beautiful forests and the birthplace of forest bathing

We offer direct bus access to the 300-year old Akasawa Natural Recreation Forest of mainly hinoki cypress. Enjoy the many walking paths and the historic railway telling of the area's long involvement in the timber industry.

Kakizore Gorge

Kakizore Gorge

A beautiful gorge hidden deep within the Kiso Ontake Mountain Range

The 300m long pathway along the gorge features amazing up close views of the pristine emerald green waters, a thrilling suspension bridge dedicated to lovers, and a breathtaking waterfall.

Access

By public transportation

From Takayama3.5 - 4 hours
From Nagano/Matsumoto1.5 hours/40 minutes
From Nagoya1.5 hours

Surrounding attractions

Takayama45 min
Kamikochi1.5 hours
Matsumoto40 minutes